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Information and strategic political polarization

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  • Micael Castanheira De Moura
  • Juan Carrillo

Abstract

We develop a model of electoral competition in which two opportunistic candidates select their policy position and invest in quality. Policy positions are observed and, during the campaign, the press reveals some information about quality. We demonstrate that when information is imperfect, the Black-Downs median voter theorem fails to hold. For intermediate information levels, the unique equilibrium is such that candidates propose policies different from the median voter's bliss point. By contrast, convergence to the median occurs when quality is (almost) always or (almost) never revealed. We also show that a profit-maximising press may collect more information than socially optimal. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/10003.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in: The Economic Journal (2008)
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/10003

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  10. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Parties As Political Intermediaries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1453-1489, November.
  11. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Guillaume Hollard & Stéphane Rossignol, 2008. "An Alternative Approach to Valence Advantage in Spatial Competition," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(3), pages 441-454, 06.
  2. Giorgio Fagiolo & Lucia Alessi & Matteo Barigozzi & Marco Capasso, 2010. "On the distributional properties of household consumption expenditures: the case of Italy," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 717-741, June.
  3. Dewatripont, Mathias & Seabright, Paul, 2010. "Rational Crowd-Pleasing and Democratic Accountability," CEPR Discussion Papers 7660, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Fabian Gouret & Guillaume Hollard & Stéphane Rossignol, 2011. "An empirical analysis of valence in electoral competition," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 309-340, July.
  5. Micael Castanheira & Gaëtan J.A. Nicodème & Paola Profeta, 2011. "On the Political Economics of Tax Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 3538, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Raphael Boleslavsky & Christopher Cotton, 2012. "Information and Extremism in Elections," Working Papers 2013-04, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  7. Luigi Marengo & Corrado Pasquali, 2010. "The construction of choice. A computational voting model," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(4), pages 3077-3087.
  8. Martin Gregor, 2013. "The Optimal Ballot Structure for Double-Member Districts," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp493, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  9. Luigi Maregno & Corrado Pasquali, 2008. "A computational voting model," LEM Papers Series 2008/24, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  10. Osterloh, Steffen & Debus, Marc, 2012. "Partisan politics in corporate taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 192-207.
  11. Matias Iaryczower & Andrea Mattozzi, 2012. "The pro-competitive effect of campaign limits in non-majoritarian elections," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 591-619, April.
  12. Guillaume Hollard & Stéphane Rossignol, 2008. "An alternative approach of valence advantage in spatial competition," Post-Print hal-00267218, HAL.

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